Vol. 148, No. 40 — October 4, 2014

Regulations Amending the Income Tax Regulations (Film and Video Productions, 2014)

Statutory authority

Income Tax Act

Sponsoring department

Department of Finance

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issues

The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CFVPTC) is an incentive program administered through the tax system and is aimed at assisting Canadian film producers in creating films or video productions with high Canadian cultural content. The credit is equal to 25% of the eligible labour costs of a Canadiancontrolled production corporation for films that have high Canadian content.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage is responsible for certifying whether a film or video production meets certain prescribed Canadian-content rules. While most of the rules concerning the CFVPTC are contained in section 125.4 of the Income Tax Act, section 1106 of the Income Tax Regulations (the Regulations) generally concern the cultural content and ownership criteria to be applied by the Minister of Canadian Heritage in determining whether a production may be certified as a “Canadian film or video production” that is eligible for the CFVPTC. This proposal is related to the criteria concerning ownership.

The Regulations currently require a production corporation to be the exclusive copyright owner of a film or video production for a 25-year period after the production is completed in order to be eligible for the CFVPTC. An eligible third-party investor, known as a “prescribed person,” may also have an interest in the copyright.

Currently in the Regulations, there is uncertainty as to who is considered to be an owner of copyright, as well as what constitutes an interest in copyright, such as when a third-party is entitled to share in the revenues of a production. This makes it difficult for producers to structure their licensing and financing arrangements. Therefore, there is a need to clarify the meanings of copyright and ownership of copyright.

As well, while one purpose of the CFVPTC is to support Canadian producers by ensuring that they remain long-term beneficiaries of their products, investment by certain types of third-party investors is considered supportive of the industry. Therefore, there is a need to expand the list of prescribed persons in order to capture these third-party investors.

Objectives

The proposed amendments are expected to simplify and clarify the rules regarding the types of investors allowed for the purposes of the CFVPTC.

Description

The proposed amendments to the Regulations would

The proposed amendments would also address a housekeeping matter. On April 1, 2010, the “Canadian Television Fund” became the “Canada Media Fund,” and some of the programs available through the new Canada Media Fund were also renamed. The Regulations would be amended to take into account these changes.

“One-for-One” Rule

The proposed amendments to the Regulations are not expected to impose new administrative costs on business. Therefore, the “One-for-One” Rule does not apply.

Small business lens

The proposed amendments to the Regulations are not expected to impose new administrative or compliance costs on business. Therefore, the small business lens does not apply.

Rationale

The proposed regulatory amendments would clarify the CFVPTC in order to simplify the credit and ensure that tax assistance is appropriately targeted.

In this regard, the proposed amendments would permit a producer to allow investors who are not prescribed persons (e.g. distributors, non-Canadian broadcasters, most private investors) to participate in the profits generated from exploiting the production without necessarily being divested of copyright. Therefore, the production might still be eligible for the CFVPTC.

The proposed amendments would also provide greater investment flexibility, and it is anticipated that they would have a positive impact by allowing certain types of private investors (e.g. Canadian individuals, Canadian taxable corporations, and partnerships of prescribed persons) to invest in Canadian film or video productions. Expanding the list of prescribed persons would allow Canadian film producers that already qualify for the credit the ability to attract additional financing from third-party investors that are considered supportive of the industry without being disqualified for the credit.

The proposed amendments would also simplify the definition “excluded production” by rewording the existing provision to eliminate a triple negative and facilitate the reading of the Regulations.

There is no anticipated cost, either to the government or for taxpayers, as it is a clarification of the rules relating to the existing CFVPTC.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Most of the amendments would apply on or after the day that is 40 days after the prepublication of their text in Part I of the Canada Gazette. The amendment concerning the Canada Media Fund would apply as of April 1, 2010.

The amendments would be subject to the existing reporting and compliance mechanisms available to the Minister of National Revenue under the Income Tax Act. These mechanisms allow the Minister of National Revenue to assess and reassess tax payable, conduct audits and seize relevant records and documents.

Contact

Venetia Putureanu
Tax Legislation Division
Department of Finance
L’Esplanade Laurier
140 O’Connor Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G5
Telephone: 613-996-9593

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to section 221 (see footnote a) of the Income Tax Act (see footnote b), proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Income Tax Regulations (Film and Video Productions, 2014).

Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Mrs. Venetia Putureanu, Tax Legislation Division, Tax Policy Branch, Department of Finance, 140 O’Connor Street, Ottawa (Ontario) K1A 0G5.

Ottawa, September 25, 2014

JURICA ČAPKUN
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE INCOME TAX REGULATIONS (FILM AND VIDEO PRODUCTIONS, 2014)

AMENDMENTS

1. (1) The portion of subparagraph (a)(iii) of the definition “excluded production” in subsection 1106(1) of the Income Tax Regulations (see footnote 1) before clause (B) is replaced by the following:

(2) Subsection 1106(1) of the Regulations is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

“copyright owner”
« titulaire du droit d’auteur »

“copyright owner”, of a film or video production, at any time means

(3) Paragraphs 1106(10)(e) and (f) of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

(4) Subsection 1106(11) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(11) For the purpose of the definition “assistance” in subsection 125.4(1) of the Act, “prescribed amount” means an amount paid or payable to a taxpayer under the License Fee Program of the Canadian Television Fund or as a licence-fee top-up contribution from the Canada Media Fund.

Copyright Owner

(12) For the purpose of the definition “copyright owner” in subsection (1),

COMING INTO FORCE

2. (1) Subsections 1(1) to (3) and subsection 1106(11) of the Regulations, as enacted by subsection 1(4), are deemed to have come into force on the particular day that is 40 days after the day on which this text is published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. However, these subsections do not apply in respect of a prescribed taxable Canadian corporation’s film or video production if before that particular day

(2) Subsection 1106(12) of the Regulations, as enacted by subsection 1(4), is deemed to have come into force on April 1, 2010.

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